As droves of fans come into realization of anime’s pornographic nature, fundamentalists’ and conservatives’ fears materialize.
“I never knew,” a desperate mother of three boys, ages 17, 16 and 12 exclaimed. “I thought they were just like any other cartoons on TV, you know, where a cat chases a mouse or maybe some superhero fights crime. I never realized that would make my boys turn into perverted monsters.”
While Omonomono withheld the family’s name at their request, Professor Mark Jones, who teaches Japanese sociology at the Kurel University of Long Island, described this family as something we will see more of as anime becomes even more mainstream in America. “Anime is like a gateway drug. While it is fairly ordinary and it is just like anything else on TV, it decreases your resistance to other two-dimensional forms of pornography. When mixed with pornographic elements, anime porn can be awfully addictive and destructive,” Jones remarked.
“What’s worse,” Jones added, “is that often anime that, at first glance, seems innocent enough, can embed sexually-charged messages in which may increase the tendencies for minors to seek out pornography.”
It is no surprise, as well, that Japanese import of DVDs and, especially anime and anime porn, have been on the rise. According to the Japanese External Trade Organization, the number of Japanese anime DVDs exported to the United States has increased from 1.5 million in 2001 to 12 million in 2005. To make some sense of the numbers, Jack Chabowski, a manager from a US-based anime distributor, noted that one of their top-selling title, Pirate Jazz, sold a net total of 1 million units since its debut in 2003 as of mid 2005. “There must be a lot of horny Japanese people in the US,” he commented. “Anime DVDs imported from Japan are almost always in Japanese only, and you need to know Japanese to understand them.” Chabowski further commented that a Japanese anime DVD “usually cost twice to three times as much as you would pay compared to a domestic release of the same show.”
What’s more, anime fans in the US have long since realized the pornography problem associated with anime, and also “manga”–Japanese comics. Several locales in the US have at one point decided to ban certain anime and manga, because of its outright pornographic content disguised in innocuous “how to draw” books or in shows aimed at teenagers.
“Yeah, it’s all porn, or porn-like material that meant to tease without actually showing anything, so you can catch it on public TV,” commented one experienced fan who goes by the nickname “Crack.” “It’s all porn, really,” Crack continued. “Some of the shows are meant for little kids, so it’s hard to see what’s pornographic about it–but plenty of adults jerk off to those children’s TV shows.”
The fan response is not uniform, that said. Plenty of people insist that anime is no different than any other animated form of storytelling. Many vendors as well chose to limit the goods they sell to non-pornographic materials or not to focus on this explosive new market, not giving way to their bottom line. Others mock in defiance at the possibility of anime porn gaining serious traction in the US.
In today’s society where violent video games get the blame for turning teenagers into suicidal homocidals, what can parents do to watch out for their children? Some parents are in plain paranoia, and they are rightfully fearful–after all, they’re running out of things to blame. Others turn to conspiracy theories. One such person, a Japanese who faces the same problem in his home society, commented that the media cartel in Japan is bent on turning the world into passive sheep, who escapes reality and into the fantasy world, addicted to anime, manga, and pornography. The irony is thick as his writing is currently adopted into an anime TV show in Japan right now.